LAFD Fitted For Customized Hearing Protection

Dr. Kathleen A. Romero makes a mold  of Los Alamos Firefighter Raymond Barela’s ears from which to create custom plugs. Romero spent Friday fitting local firefighters at the LAFD Administrative Offices on Central Avenue. Photo by Leland Lehman/
Los Alamos Firefighter Michael Garcia takes his turn to be fitted for custom ear plugs. Photo by Leland Lehman/
Los Alamos Fire Department Safety Division Chief Wendy Servey is fitted Friday for custom ear plugs. Photo by Leland Lehman/
Staff Report

Ear mold impressions were taken Friday of Los Alamos Firefighters by Dr. Kathleen Romero, an Albuquerque audiologist.

Romero is making available this customized, form-fitting foam hearing protector to firefighters and those in similar occupations. The special plugs are easy to put in and remove and hang securely from a uniform collar with a clip on the connecting cord so they’re always ready.

The plugs also are adjustable to varying noise levels. Because firefighters work around loud engines, sirens and metal cutting saws, they have their hearing checked every year to detect any loss. The new hearing protectors come with a filter system that has two positions so firefighters have the option to maximize noise reduction when doing something like cutting through metal with a chainsaw.

LAFD is purchasing the new protectors for its firefighters through its fire fund.

Tools used to create custom ear plug molds for local firefighters. Photo by Leland Lehman/
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